“Unfortunately, no other information about Gaius has survived,” I read. I pause and store this fact (of lack of facts) to come back to.
The unknown surrounding the life of the recipient of an epistle (3 John, specifically) is strangely comforting to me. Although, I shouldn’t say ”strangely” since I’m predictably drawn to such stories of hidden, Godward lives. Their stories refresh my heart and recalibrate my desires. And they give me relief from the soul-shaping pressures of what is showcased and applauded in the world and much of Christian ministry today.
We minister, work, raise children, and live life in an age where we’re presented with constant, often instant, measures of success. The Bottom Line. Likes. Reach. Church Attendance. Conversions. We admire those who manage to bring in more of the above. We study how they made it. We listen to their talks and hope to one day share the same stage.
It is exhausting, discouraging, confusing, and our hearts know something is off here.
Which is why I am grateful for Gaius, whose hospitality was commended by John: “Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers.” And I wonder how appealing such praise would be to most of us today, to be told we are doing a faithful thing.
I wonder if we’d opt for other adjectives: It is an effective and productive thing you do. It is an unprecedented and amazing thing you do. It is a groundbreaking and world-shaking thing you do. In the office, at home, in ministry, on social media, how many of us would consider being called “faithful” high praise?
But God rejects our terms and pays no heed to our metrics. Because, yes, you can be famous, highly effective, and praised while walking with God— but you could also gain the world and lose your soul. Because, if God saw success like we did, how would Jesus have measured up, finishing his ministry with 12 disciples—one a traitor— a mere 120 in the upper room after his ascension? Because Scripture shows us it is his job to makes things grow, ours to be good and faithful servants...//Link in bio
Today is a complicated day.
Many of us are taking the opportunity to celebrate the moms who’ve loved us so well— as we ought to more than once a year. Some of us are being celebrated. We are snuggling up with our children in wonder and thanks for the gift of motherhood— which is also something we could afford to do more often.
But for many of us, joy is mingled with the sorrow of absence: We are missing our moms or others who mothered us, even as we remember them with thankfulness. We are aching for reunion with the children who made us mothers. We are feeling acutely the heartbreak of deferred hope in infertility. We wish we had better mothers, were better mothers, or were better to our mothers.
Mother’s Day is both beautiful and broken because the world, created full of perfect gifts, has been deeply marred. So the places we were meant to experience the deepest joys are often the sites of our deepest sorrows. And though family and motherhood is still a wonderful, precious gift, it also bears the marks of sin and death.
It is helpful then to remember that Mother’s Day follows Easter. That really, all our lives are happening in the wake of Good Friday’s agonizing sacrifice, Holy Saturday’s mournful waiting, and the Resurrection day’s victorious celebration.
Christianity makes room for life, death, and resurrection. And the Scriptures give us hope because not only has Christ, the God-man, been through it all, but because he lives, he is now with us as we traverse the same road.
Whether today is sweet, bitter, or both for you, know then that Christ is with you. He forgives and he comforts. He restores, reconciles, and heals. He empowers, empathizes, and helps. He walks with you in all the beauty and brokenness of Mother’s Day, and he does so because he lives.
#happymothersday #helives #risenmotherhood